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  C-46D-5-CU Commando Serial Number 42-101046  
5th AF
2nd Combat Cargo Group
7th Combat Cargo Squadron
USAAF c1944
Pilot  2nd Lt. James R. Mathews, O-764058 (MIA / KIA) Sacramento County, CA
Co-Pilot  2nd Lt. Herbert R. Willson, O-730648 (MIA / KIA) CO
Crew Chief  TSgt Edwin B. Barker, 12035512 (MIA / KIA) Essex County, NY
Radio  Cpl Sanford L. Thames, 13118168 (MIA / KIA) Roanoke, VA
Passenger  1st Lt. Irvin R. Reiter, O-861594 (MIA / KIA) Indiana County, PA
Passenger  MSgt Charles E. Altizer, 13016065 (MIA / KIA) VA
MIA  November 24, 1944
MACR  12261

Aircraft History
Built by Curtiss-Wright. Constructor Number 30501. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as C-46D-5-CU Commando serial number 42-101046 (although built as C-46A-50-CU Commando serial number serial number 42-101046. Ferried overseas via Hickam Field then across the Pacific to the South West Pacific Area (SWPA).

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Air Force (5th AF), 2nd Combat Cargo Group (2nd CCG), 7th Combat Cargo Squadron (7th CCS). When lost, engines: R-2800-51 serial numbers not listed in Missing Air Crew Report 12261 (MACR 12261).

Mission History
On November 24, 1944 took off from Biak Island piloted by 2nd Lt. James R. Mathews on a flight bound for Finschafen Airfield. The weather was 3/10 clouds with base at 2,000' and tops at 8,000' with the middle broken at 1,400' with visibility of 12 miles and a few rain areas over the area between Wakde to Hollandia by 11:00am.

At 9:00am, this C-46 was last seen over Hollandia and last contacted by radio when it advised to land due to poor weather. The pilot replied all was clear and that he would proceed. Afterwards, there was no other contact and believed lost due to bad weather. When this aircraft failed to arrive it was declared Missing In Action (MIA).

Alll aboard were officially declared dead the day of the mission. The entire crew is memorialized at Manila American Cemetery on the tablets of the missing. As the flight was deemed to be over a non-combat area, none of the crew earned the Purple Heart posthumously.

Barker also has a memorial marker at Forest Dale Cemetery at Crown Point, NY.

Reiter also has a memorial marker at Sykesville Memorial Cemetery at Sykesville, PA.

Peter E. Barker (nephew of Barker)
"Looking for B24 MIA cousin "Edwin Boque Barker, Jr.," MIA 1944."

NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - James R. Mathews
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Edwin B. Barker
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Irvin R. Reiter
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Charles E. Altizer
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Charles E. Altizer
USAF Serial Number Search Results - C-46A-50-CU Commando 42-101046
"101046 (MSN 30501) delivered as C-46D-5-CU. Lost Nov 24, 1944, SW Pacific. MACR 12261"
Missing Air Crew Report 12261 (MACR 12261) created December 9, 1944
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - James R. Mathews
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Herbert R. Willson
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Edwin B. Barker
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Sanford L. Thames
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Irvin R. Reiter
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Charles E. Altizer
FindAGrave - 2Lt James R Mathews (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - 2Lt Herbert R Willson (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - TSgt Edwin Bogue Barker, Jr (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - Edwin Bogue Barker (memorial marker photo)
FindAGrave - Corp Sanford Lionel Thames (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - 1Lt Irvin Ralph Reiter (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - Irvin Ralph Reiter (memorial marker photo, date of death listed as November 25, 1944 [sic])
FindAGrave - MSgt Charles Elbert Altizer (photo, tablets of the missing photos)

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Last Updated
April 21, 2020


Tech InfoC-46

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